Puppy Basics: Selecting the Right Food
Puppy Basics: Selecting the Right Food

Tips on Choosing a Puppy Food

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Dogs need a well-balanced meal for their adequate growth and development. Different breeds and sizes of dogs require a different amount of nutrients. Puppies are at their growing stage, and hence they require more energy for overall development. Nutrients like fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water help the puppy nourish into a healthy dog. Choosing a puppy food is a crucial decision to make as the type of puppy food you choose directly affects your fur baby’s development in the initial years.

IAMS™ is one of the leading puppy food brands that is known for offering food packed with energy and nutrients to support a puppy’s growing age.

How to choose puppy food?

Pet parents often face the dilemma of how to choose puppy food for their fur baby. Puppies often need twice the amount of nutrients compared to an adult dog. While choosing a puppy food, you must look for meal options that are highly digestive and nutrient dense. The food should be packed with vitamins, proteins, fat, and carbohydrates for your puppy’s healthy growth. Some benefits of selecting the right puppy food are:

  • Shiny fur
  • Exceptional muscle tone
  • Improved vision
  • Better digestion
  • Improved bowel movement
  • Pleasant and playful mood
  • Healthy, happy attitude

 How to choose the right puppy food brand?

While home food can be nutritious, it can sometimes not be sufficient for a puppy’s growing body. Hence, pet parents need to depend on formulated puppy food that is packed with the goodness of protein and other essential nutrients to support their fur baby’s growth and development stage. However, how to choose the right puppy food brand amongst so many available options? Read the following to know more.

  • Recognised brand: When you buy formulated food for a puppy, always pick well-known brands that do not compromise on quality and quantity. Choosing a well-recognised and established brand that adheres to the law ensures your canine friend gets all the necessary nutrients for its constant and consistent growth.
  • Check the label: Read the product’s name and label to get all the necessary information about its nutritional values. The net product weight and nutrient chart are mentioned on every recognised puppy food brand’s product. Along with checking the nutritional values, you must also look for the manufacturer’s address and contact details. This helps in sending suggestions and grievances directly to the brand. The list of ingredients should be read thoroughly to ensure you do not pick a product with ingredients that do not suit your pooch. The product’s manufacturing and expiry date are also mentioned on the label. Lastly, the label also contains information and directions for feeding your puppy.
  • Ingredients: Puppies need a good source of protein, fibre, and carbohydrates. Puppies need 22 amino acids to produce the right protein needed for their survival. Hence, pet parents have to be very careful and selective when choosing puppy food for their fur babies. Thoroughly going through the list of ingredients allows caregivers to analyse the ingredients and choose the best for their canine buddy. Glancing at the list of ingredients also allows you to avoid products that contain ingredients your puppy is allergic to.

Moreover, you must also consider your puppy’s breed, size, and weight when confused about how to choose food for the puppy. Smaller breeds of dogs mature faster than larger breeds, this means your puppy’s breed decides how much nutrients it will need for how long. While most puppies can start consuming solid food once they turn 4-weeks old, their transition from puppy food to adult dog food varies depending on their breed, size, and weight. Please consult a vegetarian doctor if you are unsure about your pet’s breed and the amount of nutrients required for its adequate growth.

Nutrients required by different breed sizes

Different breeds of dogs require a different amount of nutrition for their proper growth and development. Feeding the puppy as per its breed’s requirement ensures that it gets the right amount of nutrients for its physical and psychological growth. Hence, to help you choose the best for your fur baby, we have curated some insights on how much nutrition is required for which breed size.

  • Small breed: This type of breed is smaller in size, which means their anatomy and organs are compact compared to other breeds. However, as these breeds do not grow larger, they mature faster, and hence need more nutrients in their primitive age. Small and toy breed puppies are recommended to feed at least 3 to 4 meals a day to provide all the essential nutrients required for their growth. However, because they have smaller organs, it becomes essential to choose food that can offer more nutrition in a limited quantity.
  • Medium breed: Dogs that are bigger than the toy breed but smaller than giant and large breeds are considered medium-size breeds. You can accomplish a medium size breed’s nutritional quota by offering an adequate animal-based diet. Two meals a day is ideally sufficient for medium-size breeds, provided the food is packed with healthy nutrients required for its growth.
  • Large breed: Contradicting the common belief, this breed does not require more calcium even though it has larger bones. A moderate amount of calcium, phosphorus, and calories are sufficient for a large-breed puppy’s skeleton development. Overfeeding can cause developmental and bone issues in such breeds. Hence, ensuring large breed puppies’ consumption limits while providing them with the right nutrients is essential. You should choose formulas with lesser fat and calories to promote growth in such breeds. Besides, feeding should be limited to 2 to 3 meals per day.

The physical growth and development of a puppy are at stake during its initial years. Therefore, choosing a diet that meets all its nutritional requirements and provides appropriate nourishment is essential. Caregivers should be mindful of their puppy’s allergies, breed size, and age before selecting a puppy food brand. IAMS offers a wide range of puppy food varieties for different breed sizes based on their nutritional requirements. However, you should consult a vet if you are unsure about your puppy’s nutritional needs and breed.

Why choose IAMS™ for your puppy?

At IAMS™, we focus on preparing highest-quality food for dogs of all ages and breeds. Our puppy food — IAMS™ Proactive Health™ Starter Mother and Baby Dog – is the ideal pick for your little pooch’s optimal growth and development. Along with being loaded with proteins, vitamins, and minerals, it also contains DHA and colostrum. While DHA ensures healthy cognition for better trainability, colostrum provides essential nutrients that’s only found in the mother dog’s milk.  Enriched with best-quality proteins, fibre, and FOS natural prebiotics, IAMS™ Proactive Health™ Starter Mother and Baby Dog ensures healthy muscles as well as digestive system.

Frequently asked questions

  1. How do I know what food is best for my puppy?
  2. Puppies ideally prefer animal-based meals. You can select the best food formula by choosing a puppy food brand that caters to your puppy’s breed size as different breed sizes require a different amount of nutrients for overall development and healthy growth.

  3. Do puppies need special puppy food?
  4. Yes, puppies need more energy compared to adult dogs. Hence, they do require special food that can offer twice the amount of nutrients in smaller quantities. Besides, puppies also need to be fed more frequently to support the nutritional requirements for growth and development.

  5. What is the healthiest food to feed a puppy?
  6. This is subjective to the puppy’s nutritional requirements and allergies. Most puppies rely on animal-based food for their nutritional needs. Nutrient-packed formulas offered by puppy food brands like IAMS are also suggested for providing a well-balanced and nourishing food to your puppy.

  • How to Leash Train a Puppy
    How to Leash Train a Puppy
    How to Leash Train a Puppy

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    Leash training can help your puppy safely explore the world beyond your house or backyard. It can enhance your dog’s walking experience and help you bond with it better. We must remember that dogs are not born with the ability to walk on a leash, they need to be taught. As their caregivers, we need to help them learn this skill comfortably. 

    If you have a large breed pup, it is imperative that you train it while it is still young. Once your fur baby grows up to be heavy, you will have a tough time handling it on a leash. You do not want to be dragged along the ground or see your dog get into an easily avoidable fracas. 

    In case you are wondering at what age to start leash training a puppy, here’s your answer: You are start at 10 weeks of its age, however, you must know that it can be done earlier. It will help your pup grow into an obedient pawsome pal. Leash training also makes it easier for you to travel with your pet and embark on exciting adventures seamlessly! Train your puppies while they are still young as it will stay with them for the rest of their lives. 

    If you are facing any trouble with how to teach your puppy to walk on a leash, here are some tips to get you started:

    • Pick the right collar

    Picking the right collar is the first step to getting your dog used to a puppy leash. It is imperative that your fur baby feels comfortable in it. So, make sure that the collar is neither too tight nor too loose; there should be space for at least two fingers under it. While leash training your puppy, breathability and comfort is of paramount importance. 

    Note: If you plan on training your puppy at an early age, stay attentive during sessions. Since your little furry friend will be at a developing stage, it will outgrow its collar soon. Make sure that you keep checking the fit of the collar and change it as and when needed.

    • Introducing your puppy to a leash

    Your puppy will need some time to get used to the leash. For puppies, this is an alien thing, and they will need some time to adjust and accept this new accessory. You can help your pup ease into this process by trying a few tricks. It needs to resonate a leash with fun times. Let it spend some time playing with the leash. You can also make your canine companion wear it every time you are having a fun time together at home. Do not put it on when it is alone, sad, or irritated.

    • Treats go a long way

    As you teach your puppy how to walk on a leash, remember that rewarding it with treats will only promote good behaviour. Grab a treat in your hands and take a few steps back. This will encourage your pooch to walk towards you to devour its favourite treat. To avoid overeating, you can also reward the pup with toys, praises, or belly rubs. 

    Note: Do not stretch your dog’s leash training for prolonged hours. It might get exhausted and shy away from training.

    • Indoor practice

    Indoor practice is the best way of gauging how your canine companion fares with the concept of walking on leash. This will also help you get your puppy used to the leash without losing control of it. Choose a decent stretch of floor in your home, make sure there are no obstructions, and just start walking with your puppy on a leash. At the end of one stretch, reward it with treats. Stay attentive during these session to know when your pup is ready for the world outside your home.

    • Start with short outdoor walks

    Teaching your puppy how to walk on a leash is going to be full of surprises. If you think that your pet will easily walk on a leash outdoors once it has learnt to do it indoors, you are mistaken. Being curious is only natural and that is exactly what will happen once your four-legged friend realises that it is not at home anymore! Your dog will want to sniff every corner, every plant, and whatever it sets its eyes on. Hence, start with short outdoor walks! 

    Note: Carry some treats with you to encourage your puppy to follow you! 

    Remember that patience is key! And your furry friend is not the only one who needs to be patient during this process. Your puppy is going to need some time to get used to this walking style and you need to give it that time. Moreover, make sure that this transition is smooth and comfortable for your pup. Once you start putting these tips into action, you two can start taking long strolls together.